LOS ANGELES—Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer has said that, as part of his mayoral campaign, he will seek to have a ballot measure next year to double the size of the city council, with each councilmember receiving half their $223,829 salary.
Feuer first announced his position to increase the number of city councilmembers in September, and he reiterated that stance during a campaign speech on Nov. 1 outside Los Angeles City Hall.
The LA City Council Redistricting Commission also called for an increase in councilmembers in its report to the council last week.
Meanwhile, both Feuer and the commission called for a fully independent body to be assigned to redraw the districts in 2031, instead of the city council itself, which receives recommendations from the commission.
“Power over council boundaries has got to be in the hands of the people—not self-interested politicians controlling the process behind the scenes to protect their power,” Feuer said.
“It’s gotten so bad that commissioners themselves support my proposal for a truly independent panel to draw up districts. And cutting council districts in half will bring councilmembers much closer to the communities they serve, leading to the more responsive and accountable leadership voters so desperately want.”
With a population of nearly 4 million people, Los Angeles has 15 councilmembers. New York, with about double Los Angeles’ population, has 51 councilmembers; and Chicago, which has a population of 2.7 million, has a governing body with 50 aldermen.
“LA’s big problems need big ideas and leaders who’ve proven they can deliver,” Feuer said.
“My Neighborhood Empowerment Plan would be the first structural reform to City Hall in a generation. And we need it now. Empowering our residents means putting them in charge of district boundaries and giving them councilmembers who respond rapidly to their concerns over everything from homelessness to public safety to traffic gridlock.”
Feuer’s campaign speech came ahead of the city council’s planned vote on Nov. 2 to create an Ad Hoc Redistricting Committee to lead the council’s process of redrawing the districts.
The council will also hear a presentation on Nov. 2 from the redistricting commission on its proposed map—which council President Nury Martinez has already said “cannot reasonably move forward” because it “raises concerns for so many marginalized communities.”